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MEXICAN SUMMER

Light Asylum

Shallow Tears

    Light Asylum storms the dark castle with the 'Shallow Tears' 12". A co-production with Chris Coady (Beach House, Gang Gang Dance, Grizzly Bear), 'Shallow Tears' is an early morning, arm-in-arm dance floor psalm that hints at what's to come from the band's debut album. The B-side, 'Genesis' is mostly instrumental melancholic techno pop in line with Chris & Cosey's output, accented by ambient delay tactics and ghostly vocal choruses.

    Pressing of 500 only!

    A mutant offspring of diverse stylings, unlikely convergences and unfixed constellations, "Zebra", Alexis Georgopoulos’ - aka Arp - fifth full-length album, is a post-everything symbiosis of ancient to future psychotropics, emphasizing points of connectivity between far-flung traditions. "Zebra" is as naturalistic as it is alien, disrupting outdated boundaries between musical traditions, hierarchies and genre politics. Using forward-looking production techniques and an idiosyncratic instrumental palette - analog synthesizers, double bass, Fender Rhodes, electronic and acoustic drums, flute, vintage harmonizers and tape delay - Georgopoulos proposes a vast, shimmering prospect, floralizing an array of styles and smiles - Fourth World tremors, vibey Cosmic Jazz, 80s Japanese production, floating kosmische drum atmospherics. Emphasizing 'points of connectivity' in a time when reactive and fractious isolationism threaten in divisive ways, "Zebra" is the sound of interaction. "Zebra" seeks something beyond definition of singularity perspective and division. It is constructive instead of flippant: ecstatic instead of wallowing; clear-eyed instead of opiated, romantic instead of cynical. Like the zebra, Georgopoulos’ latest album revels in contrast / duality - Naturalistic + alien. Urban + rural. Calm + unsettling. Lucid + mysterious. Bold simplicity + fiendish complexity. The result is a portal to a more curious world that compels repeat visits.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: I’ve long been a fan of Alexis Georopoulos, and I’m pleased to reveal that his fifth LP is his finest work to date. Inspired by the likes of Hiroshi Yoshimura, Lonnie Liston Smith, Klause Schultze and Jon Hassell, the producer treats us to a textured and tripped out New Age journey.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Jess Williamson

    Cosmic Wink

      A reference to the Jungian idea of synchronicity, or “meaningful coincidences,” Cosmic Wink is as much a reflection on inspired companionship as it is a rebirth. Jess Williamson fell deeply in love, and then her life was uprooted; she left Texas for California, leaving behind the roadworn verses of her previous albums for brighter, bolder songwriting.

      The Byrds-ian jangle of album opener “I See The White” airbrushes halos around the brain with an immortal pop hook. When Williamson asks her listener to “tell me everything you know about consciousness,” it’s an invitation down a two lane blacktop, both vessels heading the same direction.

      The Rhodes-soaked “Wild Rain” begins with a ghostly air until a swell of synths gives way like the heavens parting. Williamson’s voice emerges from the clouds promising that she will “treasure your patience / from you I learned what it means to make a family.”

      Concluding with “Love On the Piano,” Williamson’s new musical and lyrical mind declares “Love is my name now / Love, Darlin” over a revolving acoustic guitar line and lightly pressed upright piano notes. Vulnerability can feel something less vulnerable when love - true, deep love - creates a latticework to hang the frame of our humanity, which in many ways is the message underlying the entire album.

      For the third Marfa Myths release, we’re proud to present seven all-new songs written and recorded by Stockholm’s psychedelic masters Dungen and adventurous Brooklyn indie-folk pioneers Woods. As the Myths record series progresses, the spirit of the collaborations between the artists chosen – one a member of the Mexican Summer family, the other for which we share deep admiration – deepens as well. Dungen and Woods were tourmates in the summer of 2009, traversing America and bonding with one another in the process. The familiarity with one another’s music and personalities was already well in place, but the eight years that passed between the tour and the making of this record reveal that nothing was lost in the interim. That this is the most music assembled for a Marfa Myths release to date is telling of a rare and special connection, reignited by the circumstances of the occasion.

      Dungen’s Gustav Ejstes and Reine Fiske, and Woods’ Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere were provided the freedom to acclimate themselves to the unique frequencies of the Marfa experience without distraction. Marfa Myths 003 showcases a seamless merging of two bands following the same track to different locations throughout their career, as if they’d been playing together for decades, an exhilarating and buoyant example of how shared experiences can foster truly wonderful music.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Like the 'In The Fishtank' series from Konkurrent, 'Myths' from the superb Mexican Summer has managed to take two differing acts and force them together to great effect. The dark, psychedelic underbelly of Dungen meet the light, airy bliss of Woods perfectly. A future classic, and a superb benchmark for future collaborative efforts.

      Gregg Kowalsky

      L'Orange L'Orange

        What does the sun sound like? L’Orange, L’Orange, Gregg Kowalsky’s (Date Palms) first solo album in eight years, might have the answer. Its vivid music – sourced from analog synths and mixed on a laptop – arrives in rays of sound that shine skyward. There are many moods in each track, but the overarching aura is one of brightness and optimism. Hence the album title, which nods toward the radiant hue of our life-sustaining star. The warm atmospheres of Miami (his birthplace) and Los Angeles (his home of 3years) infuse the luminous ambience of L’Orange, L’Orange. Kowalsky points to the album’s second track, “Maliblue Dream Sequence.” Its lapping synth waves mirror the time he spent working on the record at a friend’s home in the beachside city of Malibu. But you can hear echoes of blue skies, sun-baked shores, and drifting tides throughout – from the sparkling ripples of “Tuned to Monochrome,” to the rising rhythm of “Pattern Haze,” to the sandy layers of “Ritual Del Croix.” L’Orange, L’Orange isn’t just about brightness and bliss. It’s also about engrossing your mind – creating an omnipresence not unlike that shiny orange orb whose ubiquity defines our days and whose absence fills our nights. For Gregg Kowalsky, music can have that same kind of overpowering effect. The sounds of L’Orange, L’Orange can calm your nerves, warm your mood, and maybe even enlighten your mind.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Shimmering, shifting walls of fuzzy drone, beautiful veiled melodies and soaring hazy pads pull together into a dreamlike fugue, comfortably blurry but beautiful to the end.

        Allah-Las

        Covers #1

          Following their 2016 album Calico Review, Allah-Las return with Covers #1, the first in a series of EPs exploring tunes near and new to the band. For the debut EP in the series, the band offers renditions of George Harrison's "Fish On The Sand," Kathy Heideman's "The Earth Won't Hold Me", 90s LA cult band Further's "JO Eleven", and Television's "Hard On Love,” an unreleased song from the band’s Marquee Moon recording sessions. Allah-Las recorded Covers #1 at the Pump House in Topanga Canyon while working on material for their next full-length release. The selections are comprised of old faves and newly discovered tracks that became ubiquitous sounds in the studio between album takes. 

          Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink shares his eleventh studio album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades.

          Standout tracks from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson include “Feels Like Heaven,” a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, “Another Weekend,” which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and “Time to Live,” an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality.

          Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution. The album marks his first full-length release with the Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Matt says: AP is a Piccadilly legend. Lord of hypnopompic indie-pop brilliance, his none-categorizable yet ticking-every-genre-box style is as contradictory as is it beguiling as it is idiosyncratic; and is possibly the reason that every one of us here in the shop has a favourite song. ‘Dedicated To Bobby Jameson’ sees complex song-writing and skilled musicianship almost undermined by Ariel's quirky, nonchalant, fun-loving nature. A celebration rather than a study, I'm positive Ariel cares little if you observe his exceptional hooks, evocative commentary or multi-dimensional musical vision. He just wants you to shake, rattle and roll! It's a contradiction that runs through his career, almost constantly shunning professionalism for fun. A feature that makes him all the more intriguing and enjoyable, reminding us that to take life seriously is to not enjoy it at all. Stylishly conjuring up idealistic dreams of playing pinball and driving freeways with your mates; drinking, dancing and smoking underage; youthful exuberance and the American Dream, ‘Dedicated To Bobby Jameson’ is a masterpiece.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xDeluxe LP Info: Deluxe edition of "Dedicated To Bobby Jameson." Includes 24" x 36" poster (folded to 12" x
          12") and single-sided picture disc EP, titled "Non-Sequitur Segues," containing four bonus
          tracks available only on vinyl. Housed in a custom PVC slipcase.

          Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

          On The Echoing Green

            On the Echoing Green is an elegant work of lush, shimmering sound, rendered with a singular touch by eternal electric romantic Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. In contrast to the haze and hermetic process of previous albums, Green was conceived as a deliberate experiment in clarity and collaboration: “I was interested in trying to bring out more overt pop elements, to let them come to the front and be present. I also have more trust now in letting things happen – trusting other people’s musicianship, and being open to people’s ideas. Eventually, things emerge.” What emerged from this bond are eight rapturous and richly melodic slow dives of swirling guitar, bass, synthesizer, piano, and drum machines, dramatically accented in places by heavenly arcs of voice courtesy of Argentinian singer-songwriter Sobrenadar. Cantu-Ledesma encouraged chemistry and intuition in the studio by beginning the album without any demos for reference; he and his collaborators pursued patterns and hypnotic textures across long-form improvisations until gradually songs began to take shape. This is music of growth and grandeur, of ascent and exploration, played with purpose and passion by a craftsman in tune with the beauty of sound and the harmony of light. In his words: “[This album] feels like spring – things coming alive, blooming, emerging from winter.”

            Riding on a cloud of smoke, psychedelic travelers Shadow Band make sounds that move like foggy dreams from fantastical lands. Their patient but powerful songs set in motion a series of refracting echoes that call forth images of medieval battles, spirits unseen by human eyes, and the gentle, constant pulsing of the universe. The band formed organically around the songwriting of Mike Bruno, a quiet figure whose vibrant mental landscape is the center of the group’s orbit. Growing up in New Jersey, Bruno immersed himself in a self-made world of gloomy sonic alchemy, honing his songcraft as a solo act in New Brunswick's small-but-dedicated freak scene. The early years saw Bruno attracting a rotating cast of area heads around his growing arsenal of songs and dubbing it Black Magic Family Band. The sprawling web of artists varied with every gig and recording session, but the roots of Shadow Band started here. Sonically, the homespun production mirrors the communal environment in which they were made. Layers of murky instrumentation congeal into a singular sound, with strange stringed instruments, theremin vibrations and buried percussion all washing by as a solid alien texture. Songs melt into one another to the sound of distant birds and pagan pan flutes only to rise up in swells of unholy synth.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Weyes Blood & Ariel Pink

            Myths 002

              In the middle of March 2016, over a week-long musical residency in the desert, two weird planets went conjunct. Both bore a bright color palette: Ariel Rosenberg (aka Ariel Pink), an underground icon known for his stylized, subversive pop, and Natalie Mering (aka Weyes Blood), bold bringer of a future cosmic folk realm. Under the mystic lights of Marfa, Texas, they composed and captured the EP, Myths 002. As West Coast singer-songwriters with a shared sensibility for mood, Natalie and Ariel have been collaborating artists, mutual admirers, and friends for years. Mering appeared as guest vocalist on Pink's 2013 album Mature Themes, Pink produced the infectious Drugdealer song “Suddenly” featuring Mering. Mering’s third album, Front Row Seat To Earth, was released in October 2016 on Mexican Summer. Pink’s first album for the label is set for “sometime 2017.”

              The atmosphere and auras of these two pop artists assemble as new hues on Myths 002, their distinct voices inexplicably, effortlessly folding into harmony. The four songs capture musicians at play -- speak-talking dramatic interludes, twisting up songs strangely before releasing them assuredly in New Romantic resolves. During the annual Marfa Myths festival, Mexican Summer and Ballroom Marfa brought these two musicians together for the second in a record series that promotes collaboration between artists within the label crew and kindred musical spirits from outside the catalog. Marfa is small town known for its remote desert locale in Texas, its arts community, and its strange heavenly lights.

              Natalie Mering, the being behind Weyes Blood, embeds her sublime song in a harmonic gauze of arpeggiated piano, acoustic guitar, druggy horns, & outer space electronics. Propulsive, spare drums carry us across the album’s course.

              There is a faded California beauty to Front Row. A gentle honesty that recalls the finest folk music made on the West Coast of the ‘70s. The hue hangs in the sweet-spooky harmonies, the pulsing sway of the vibrato & the ecstatic chord resolves. But this beauty is scratched with shadow; with dark foreboding, alienation, & acceptance of change. Love & loss balance together in suspended alchemy, as the earthiness of the singer-songwriter tradition wears digital sounds like feathers in its hair. Mering, together with co-producer Chris Cohen contrasts live band intimacy with the post-modern electric sheen of A.M. radio atmospherics. The experimental flourishes sparkle amid the succinct, thoughtful arrangements.

              The closeness of this record - how personal, alone, & frank it feels - conceals its aspirations to the outside, to the "Earth" of its title. Weyes Blood harbors devastating weight while also universalizing the strange ways of identity & relationships. These are not typical love songs or protest songs -- they are painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love & affirm the conflict of harmonious life within a disharmonic world.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Sil says: Nine songs oozing melody and beauty celebrating
              the 'painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love. Affirm the conflict of harmonious life within a disharmonic world'

              Moving and painful at times yet uplifting and delicate.

              Calico Review shows a band that’s grown confident enough in its own style to reflect the perspectives of each member, & craft an album that changes up the approach from song-to-song, while retaining their abilities as a cohesive unit.

              “Strange Heat,” reflects a control & character that burns off of the band’s knack for restraint. Songs like “Famous Phone Figure” cradle character sketches over delicate strains of violin, organ, & Mellotron, Matthew Correia’s drumming carefully underlining a three-note theme that casts a phantom sadness over the proceedings, the group exerting a touch both light & steady enough to bring your mood to theirs.

              “Could Be You” works off a steady percussive gallop, guitarist Miles Michaud waxing reflexively on second chances while the band focuses on forward motion. “Roadside Memorial” applies the Bo Diddley beat to the open road, Pedrum Siadatian stepping up on vocals, & finding new ways to match his talents to propulsive musical ends. Elsewhere, “High & Dry,” features Correia on lead vocals, focusing on their most quintessential & peerless quality: writing emotionally resonant pop, at once direct & detached, casual & knowing, & instantly memorable. The dream factory itself gets called out in the fun, surf-stung number “200 South La Brea,” its carnival-like atmosphere reflecting the excitement & anxiety of those who await their judgment.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: With hints of rock and/or roll, 70's pop and modern twee indie, Allah Las are a band that defy at least ten expectations before even getting out of bed. Each one of these pieces has an understated elegance and confidence that we haven't heard from them before. Songs like 'Could Be You' are more driven and rocking while 'Famous Phone Figure' is a Wurlitzer swirled Floydian delight. The changes don't end there, but i'll leave the rest a surprise.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Indies Exclusive LP Info: Clear vinyl with printed inner sleeve and download code with a bonus track.

              Convenience skids like a garbage truck with no brakes, barreling through passages of guitar chording bent at the wrong angles and ring-modded riffs aligning with Benjamin Jaffe’s expressive sax before splitting apart into chaos. Veronica Torres assumes double-duty between vocals and bass, while Jon Campolo plays three instruments in the live setting and Andrew Spaulding four, including circuit-bent noise rigs of their own invention. Veronica’s words are delivered with the speed and frenzy of someone with their life on the line, but she’s also able to slow things down in a gesture of dominance, confidence, and trust. This band is wise enough to know that safety is fleeting, so they take their digs when and where they can.

              Given Pill's backgrounds, their music advances a notion of what the punk spirit of NYC might be: the capture and distillation of the energy and friction that comes from living amongst so many people in such a confined space. The idea seeds in free jazz and improvisation; reached adolescence in galleries and loft spaces in the ‘70s; found politics in squats and independent spaces; and it grows stronger the more these several sensibilities are practiced ands stewed. Call them No wave, post-punk, noise; they are immune, content to head off in a direction of their own design.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              Torn Hawk

              Union And Return

                Union and Return is the third album from Luke Wyatt’s Torn Hawk. It was composed and recorded entirely by Wyatt at his home in Berlin and is inspired by painters like Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Caspar David Friedrich. Here. Wyatt parts the gauze that shrouded his former work to reveal a lush and ornate set of compositions -- elegantly orchestrated, awash in unguarded emotion.

                Having spent years working with gritty production techniques, Wyatt seems refreshed and restored by the possibilities of definition and detail. Many tracks were initially composed on piano and then painstakingly fleshed out into final form. The feel is spontaneous, rather than labored, and the pieces possess an organic and grid-less grace. On album opener “The Romantic,” the flow of ideas is natural, seamlessly transferring melodies and themes from voice to voice, instrument to instrument. Orchestral arrangements give way to layered guitars, smeared pads and collaged digital detritus.

                While the record luxuriates in subtle, delicate dynamics, Union and Return is just as disruptive as anything in his back catalog. Tracks like “Feeling is Law” and “Die Swimming in the Sea Here” supply a full-bore tenderness that can be uncomfortable, especially for those projecting a policed gruff or “masculine” image. This disruption is key to the music’s intent - gentle music as a tough gesture.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Ltd LP Info: Includes MP3 download featuring bonus track.

                Plaza is the third album by Quilt; a name implying a meeting place, a crossroads, a coming together. In the space of ten songs, Plaza clarifies Quilt’s musical stance of a congregation, mixing folk, pop-psych, and wanderlust into a common ground where each form takes on the characteristics of one another to create something wholly satisfying, styles and sentiments hand in hand, the purest and sharpest distillation of Quilt’s group aesthetic to date.

                On Plaza, Quilt has pivoted their sound on a new foothold. The guitars shimmer, squawk, warble, swell, and tense up. The organs and synths flow in the background as mood-enhancers. The drums dig in a little deeper. We hear flutes and harps, a string quartet, grand pianos and Casios, feedback and distorted violas. Among all these sounds the group’s shared and solo vocals showcase some of the strongest lyrics and hooks the band has made to date.

                Plaza showcases a tighter, more concise version of Quilt, particularly as the members have learned to encourage each other’s strengths and allow each other to confidently exist as distinct voices cooperating within a very intimate creative space; their songcraft has tightened up, their singing now crystal clear, vis á vis personal experiences of loss, frustration and isolation.

                Soldiers Of Fortune started back in August 2004 as an ANTI-BAND! The idea was - instigated by Brad Truax - to put together a cracked mercenary “dirty dozen” type of outfit, who were never gonna write songs, never gonna practice, never gonna record music, make any product for public consumption or ever hit the road! Enter Mike Bones, who lit a fire under our asses and a show was booked again, then another, then another. Labels started sniffing around and offers were made. Of course, at the time we thought accepting any offer would be signing our death warrant for all we stood for as the ANTI-BAND, so we declined all offers. We fell back in the studio and recorded a dozen embryonic 'song ideas', rather than jams, over an afternoon. We then called up friends who know how to sing and finished up the damn thing in like three days. Beyond the core troupe consisting of Brad Truax (so many bands, but dude, Interpol?), Kid Millions (Man Forever, Oneida), Barry London (fuck yeah Oneida), Matt Sweeney (Chavez being his LEAST well-known operation should tell you something), Jesper Eklow (Meandering Tedium, sorry, Endless Boogie), Mike Bones already, and the elusive Papa Crazee (heavy early riser in team Oneida) we abused the superior vocal stylings of our Healer, Shaman and Answer CLARK "YEREMIAS" BRONSON, STEPHEN MALKMUS, CASS MCCOMBS, DAN MELCHIOR, ETHAN MILLER and MATT MCAULEY.

                Tamaryn’s first two full-lengths (2010’s The Waves and 2012’s Tender New Signs) stood out in a crowd of shoegaze/ethereal revivalists as much for what they were (careful, gorgeous, thrilling tapestries of guitar-based textures) as what they weren’t (simplistic, trendy, disposable signposts made to be broken). With Cranekiss, Tamaryn emerges from her past in a way that’s inviting, warm-blooded, and shockingly direct. She’s made a big record, loaded with samples and synth triggers, the result of long nights grinding it out at the Brooklyn studio Gary’s Electric,on her own and with Weekend’s Shaun Durkan, and producer Jorge Elbrecht (Violens, Lansing-Dreiden).

                With Cranekiss her sonic palette has exploded with maniacal abandon, pressed into service of a post-adolescent love letter to all the music that she and her collaborators hold dear, drawing influences from the feelings that fell out of her. Lyrically, this is Tamaryn’s most personal collection of songs to date, and Elbrecht has placed her voice front and center across the entire record. Cranekiss explores dark rock, dance pop, and glistening melancholy with a uniformly commanding presence across it all, in stormy, unsettled brushstrokes that apply pressure behind Tamaryn’s words.

                Cranekiss represents a long journey, and a new phase - a blood-red kaleidoscope of desire and late night abandon, a bold step forward.

                A master of romantic abstraction, Jefre Cantu–Ledesma is not new to the scene. In fact, he's been releasing a steady stream of music for nearly twenty years. With the brilliant album A Year With 13 Moons, however, the ever–prolific Ledesma appears to be hitting a new high. Or low, depending on how you like to see things.

                Using a friend's reel to reel tape player, Cantu employed electric guitar, modular synthesizer, drum machine and concrète sounds from his surroundings at the Headlands, recorded while walking to the studio, cooking in the kitchen, talking with friends, the ocean, films he was watching, driving in a car. Everything was record stereo to tape.

                The result is gorgeous, haunting and sprawling. A companion to his last full length LP, Love is A Stream, (Type, 2010), 13 Moons, is a dense, swirling mass.


                Torn Hawk

                Let's Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time

                'Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time' is the most recent statement from Torn Hawk aka producer and video artist Luke Wyatt. It's difficult to neatly categorize Wyatt's genre-refracting productions. The nuts and bolts are built from live guitar, drum machines, junky synths, and layers of samples which are smeared into a cohesive whole. Wyatt's guitar moves between the meditations of Manuel Göttsching, the jangle-grid of The Chameleons and the saturation of Medicine. Throw in the melodrama of a sax on a Don Henley hit, and you get a better idea of Torn Hawk's playfully sincere sensibility.



                The Innocents is the name of the second album by southeastern Pennsylvania’s Natalie Mering, who performs as Weyes Blood. Its ten songs confront us with a vocalist of rare choral purity; lyrics so emotionally unflinching that they could pierce stone; music rooted in American and British folk, then pulled and stretched at its fringes, like a sweater that’s just begun to unravel.

                As you sift through her words, you’ll feel something, and you’ll associate those feeling with past experiences that may cause you to associate them with something more, something that affects your own emotional state. The Innocents is akin to the most primal form of expression: elements laid bare, deeply connected to the past, and miles away from anything else you’re likely to hear in music today.

                “Weyes Blood isn’t making anachronistic music, but rather blending psychedelic synthesizers, rock drums, and vocal layering effects to produce something that only could have been made today.” – Fader

                “Drawing from the androgynous folk-rock vocals so characteristic of early ’60s and ’70s outsider folk singers like Vashti Bunyan and Sibylle Baier, Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering never hesitates to dive head-first into complex and mature arrangements.” – Fader

                “…her quavering alto, which floats above an intriguing mix of conventional instrumentation and electronics, tape collages, and delay effects to create a compelling update of '70s psyche-folk.” – Nylon

                "Hang On" finds Mering released from these ghostly gates—its her most pronounced track to date, and one that more directly recalls her 1960s British folk touchstones.” – Pitchfork

                “Singing at once with vulnerability and strength through an austere, multi-layered warble, Mering searches for truth and light while facing the end of something.”– Pitchfork

                “Hang On,” its first single, sounds like a tweaked and adrift version of ’60s folk music.”– Stereogum

                Acting as a respite from the celebrated strains of modern Australian underground music, Lower Plenty manage a deconstruction of folk music like none other: unsettled, unforgiving, unconcerned with what came before or what’s to follow. Acoustic guitars shuffle in and out of phase with one another, double-tracked vocals hover above in careful meter, brushed snare rattles the very frame of their sound, and then everything shifts again, and again. Comfort’s not long here, though beauty is maintained; melodies start sweet but turn inward, wane nostalgic and wax without resolve.

                Life/Thrills is the Melbourne group’s third full-length, and their collective experience will leave you thoroughly unprepared for the beautiful confusion suggested by these ten songs, which seem to have the power of slowing and even stopping time. Suitable comparisons to this music are as disparate as early Cat Power, Arab Strap, the Shrimper roster ca. 1992, the Sun City Girls, and the late ‘60s/early ‘70s output of the Red Crayola, but as with much truly original music, Lower Plenty resists direct comparison and defies expectation. Their shambling, discordant presence will relieve you of any preconceptions – this is one best experienced alone, as the sun fades into the horizon for the night.

                The legacy of North Carolina’s Ashrae Fax seems destined to be appreciated in retrospect, in no small part given to the tremendous power of the group’s 2003 release Static Crash!, reissued twice from its initial CD-R run before appearing on Mexican Summer last year.

                The Goth/ethereal duo of vocalist Renée Mendoza and producer/guitarist Alex Chesney had built a long, strange and mostly undocumented legacy prior to that release, and Never Really Been Into It extends the tale back even further: ten songs, sketched out in the late ‘90s, most of which were never completed and remained unheard until now.

                Rescued from a shoebox of ephemera from the band’s earliest days, when Mendoza and guitarist Alex Chesney drifted out of high school and into the uncertainties of early adulthood, these songs were the product of a band whose members had nothing but time and ambition, influence and desire to transcend their humble beginnings. Pieced together and re-recorded in 2013 by Renée in her home studio, from mere stems and forgotten takes preserved on decades-old minidisc recordings, the songs reflect disquiet, uncertainty, absolute beauty, along teenage obsessions with The Cocteau Twins and The Cure, refracted through the lens of latter-day experience – pristine musicianship, gorgeous vocals, cryogenically frozen until now. Had these songs been properly released when initially conceived. First new record in over 10 years

                For Fans of: Lush, This Mortal Coil, The Cure

                Freewheeling Brattleboro, VT rock/folk wonderments the Happy Jawbone Family Band bring their latest full-length to Mexican Summer. What they’ve entrusted us to give to you represents their finest and most directly fulfilling effort to date.

                The energy and humor of early releases remains; that band you may have loved before has grown even stronger and more potent, its songs now monuments to individualism, to longing, to happier endings resulting from imperfect circumstances.

                Binding folk, indie rock and pop forms together is easy enough; it’s what this band does with them, how it builds its sentiments and bursts preconceptions, that put them in a place where these musicians can rest, comfortably above and apart from almost every band working in this same terrain today.

                We’re hearing the trippiest moments of the Beatles, Lindsey Buckingham at the peaks he reached on Tusk, and both poles of American post-punk songwriting royalty, Camper Van Beethoven at one end and Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 at the other. Try it on.

                “Happy Jawbone's disturbed take on whimsy and rebellious, youthful spirit recalls lo-fi stables, Elephant 6 and K Records” - Pitchfork

                "something truly defining” - The 405

                "beautiful psych-punk creation” - Ad Hoc

                The debut album from this Atlanta-based five-piece is certainly not easy to pigeonhole. Shifting seamlessly from taut post-punk to lush 60s balladry, and starry-eyed guitar pop to moody guitar squall, VPI Harmony is the sound of a band meticulously studied in their influences, and unafraid to expand, combine and re-imagine the sounds of their musical loves into their own signature package.

                Take for instance the way album opener "Dark Flow", whose lilting guitar notes and stately drum rolls drifts with floaty falsettos straight into the tightly wound, breathy lead single "Pathos y Lagrimas", replete with glossy guitars and an air of sexy mystery. Or the way in which "Promise Me" switches from peppy, Sarah Records jangle into dreamy girl-group heartbreak in under a minute.

                Moving from the loose, lo-fi quality of their debut EP Sweater Weather Forever in 2011, VPI Harmony was recorded, mixed and mastered in-studio at Gary's Electric in Brooklyn. The upgrade has done wonders for enhancing the band's sound, and helping to fully realize and emulate their seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of pop production.

                Turning Shrines

                Face Of Another

                  THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2013 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                  The one-sided 7" from Jorge Elbrecht and New York-based Tamaryn features a cover of Turning Shrines "1/4 Circle Black" - a track which almost feels tailor-made for Tamaryn's brand of lush shoegaze.

                  Mexican Summer is excited to re-release this rare 12" EP from Turning Shrines, uniquely accompanied by a 7" from Jorge Elbrecht featuring current Mexican Summer signee Tamaryn.

                  Turning Shrines was one of a handful of projects from revered electronic artist Fred Giannelli, perhaps best known for his work with Psychic TV and under other aliases including Kooky Scientist and Acid Didj. Turning Shrines was a trio made up of Giannelli, Neal Sugarman and Leslie Asako Gladsjo. Temple Records (Psychic TV’s own imprint) released Face Of Another in 1984, followed by one LP Cinnabar and Porcelain in 1988 -the second and last ever official release from the project.

                  After meeting the founder of Temple Records in Boston in 1984, a 24-year-old Fred decided that he would document his development as as musician and music producer and finance an actual record of his own! material. Fred had also done! extensive live sound for various bands in Boston area clubs since 1980 and was working in a recording studio throughout the early 80s learning the craft. The four tracks which make up Face of Another showcase the early fruits of this craft - ghostly vocals and reverberating guitar swirls, all held together by Giannelli's unmistakeable synth work.

                  500 Copies for the UK

                  "Turning away from the suspense and dread of their other band 'Grails', Emil Amos and Alex Hall pursue a different angle of playfulness and perversion with their newer project “Lilacs & Champagne”. Their self-titled debut of 2012 warped samples from around the world to build a new kind of psychotic mood music… and their 2nd record “Danish & Blue” manages to be even grander and more ambitious, yet somehow more damaged and bugged-out.

                  In 1969, Denmark became the first country to legalize pornography, and dominated the market for some years with a bizarre comedic approach to smut that made millions until the rest of the world caught up. The new record takes its title from this era of Scandinavian backroom films and utilizes samples from some of the most obscure B-movies of the late 60’s.

                  Alternately beautiful and deviant, L&C showcase a unique sense of humor and digging understanding that escapes the car-commercial-ification of the sample-based styles that’ve been left for dead or un-updated. "L&C" take the classic crate-digging methodology that built instrumental hip-hop and direct it back into darker unexplored creases of cult music history. From an alternate dimension where 'behind the curve' and 'ahead of the curve' conjoin to make music actually fun to listen to again and mysterious, we give you “Danish & Blue”!"

                  We can’t really offer you any dirt on No Joy. They won’t give us any. They won’t give you any either, at least not anything you can use. They’ve been asked the same questions one too many times. “What are your influences?” “What’s it like being a woman in rock music?” You’re not gonna get much out of them outside of their music, which has been exclusively in the domain of Mexican Summer since their debut 7”.Check the record covers – no information, no photos, no inserts. Of course their music does not exist in a void, but it stands to reason that if you’re going to put something out there, you’d best back it up. If you’ve seen No Joy perform, you know that this is not their problem.

                  Wait To Pleasure may not provide you with any new answers, but what it does provide is a batch of incredible new songs, the product of the Montreal noise-pop band’s first foray in a fully-furnished studio environment. Here the band has flourished, delivering their finest set to date, rooted heavily in shoegaze ripcurls and devastating melody, finishing sentences whispered long ago with depth, variance and force. Singer-guitarists Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd and drummer Garland Hastings knock down the fence between nostalgia and modernity, chaos and control, in a perfectly-realized effort made to bridge their uncompromised musical pasts with the alarmist tendencies of the present.

                  Spectral Park

                  Spectral Park

                    We bring you Spectral Park’s debut full-length under the auspices of pop brainchild Luke Donovan, who played all of the music (and records) on the record. These are songs borne from the trash, literally sourced from a box of records the Southampton multi-instrumentalist found on a walk by a council block’s curbside garbage. Donovan chopped them up and fed them through his sampler, warped, pitch-bent snippets of notes, rhythms and loops spanning disparate portions of musical history. Then he started recording live instrumentation and heavily-treated vocals over them, creating a gritty, noisy, yet wide-eyed dive into manic, ‘60s psychedelia, clear-eyed flower child reveries of reverberation and pop chaos.

                    Spectral Park is a collection of songs that serve as reflections of a fractured year full of joys and sadness, a jumble sale of ideas and moments that work together, dancing and exploding off of one another. These songs lunge off the record, bursting with breakneck tempos and infectious, soaring melodies, sounding as if they are ready to shatter under all of the energy rattling inside. Moreover, they offer a unique and exciting view into a reconstructed musical past, one that brings bygone eras of mind expansion and infinite human potential back within reach.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                    The Soft Pack

                    Strapped - Bonus Disc Edition

                    Both formats include a free CD bonus disc "Unstrapped", featuring 4 tracks.

                    The Soft Pack are back with 'Strapped', an adventurous album that finds the Los Angeles-based foursome breaking with expectations and exploring the possibilities of how they can push their sound. In making it, the group took to heart a quote from the sage Pasadena thinker David Lee Roth that goes something like: “The first rule of rock & roll is if it sounds good, it is good.”

                    The Soft Pack’s history begins in 2007 when Matt Lamkin (guitar/lead vocals) and Matty McLoughlin (lead guitar) started a band in their native San Diego. By the following year they’d added David Lantzman (bass) and Brian Hill (drums). The four of them soon moved up to LA, went on a bunch of tours, and coalesced into The Soft Pack.

                    Following the two and a half straight years of touring that came both before and after 2010’s self-titled release on Heavenly Recordings (Kemado Records in the US), the band were burnt out but determined to take control of their future. They decided to self-produce their follow-up, which will be released by Kemado’s sister label Mexican Summer. During the previous sessions for their self-titled album they developed 12 songs and recorded all of them - 10 of them made it to the album, the other two became B-sides. In contrast, while making Strapped they created 80 demo ideas, recorded 30 full songs, and then picked their 12 favourite ones for the album, no matter how far out they were.

                    The group also took their time while making Strapped, making it over the course of two years. This pace allowed them to integrate new ideas and approaches into their existing sound. The Soft Pack’s pop rock foundations are undeniably still present - nine of the songs don’t break three minutes and from the first seconds of glorious album opener “Saratoga” it’s obvious they haven’t abandoned the fuzz. That said, they’ve also spent a lot of time listening to Denim, Momus, The Church, YAZ, Grace Jones, INXS, Carole King, Lee Hazelwood, The Byrds, and Elton John. “Bobby Brown” is an icy new wave number, whose saxophone solo is just one of several horn appearances on Strapped. For “Head on Ice,” they layer on the dark atmospherics and capture a spiraling sense of doom. Maybe the most surprising cut on Strapped is album closer “Captain Ace,” a jubilant space cruiser that jams out to nearly the seven-minute mark…. Enjoy the ride!

                    Dispossession is the second full length from Brooklyn’s Mike Wexler, and his debut for Mexican Summer. An artist who defies easy categorization—a songwriter/guitarist without a traditionalist bone in his body, with an ear for far flung sound-worlds and sonic atmospheres both high & low, Wexler brings all of his manifold interests to bear in carving out a space for a singular vision uniquely attuned to the present moment. Dispossession is the product of over two years of intermittent recording. It features players from the worlds of underground rock (ex members of White Magic and The Occasion), free improvisation (Ryan Sawyer, Nate Wooley, Jessica Pavone), synth and string textures inspired by the likes of Eliane Radigue and the Spectralists, a vocal and lyrical presence of unsettling, near-subliminal depth, and the omnipresent backbone of fingerstyle guitar, without a trace of “Americana” to be heard. The basic band tracks were recorded live, at more or less the moment when the arrangements first crystallized, so there’s a bedrock of spontaneity and a free feeling to the proceedings, complicated by the highly mapped-out nature of the subsequent orchestration, synth washes and overdubs. It’s a record that fits the broken mold of auteurist songwriters who nod to the ideas of forward looking writers and artists in their work, a loose lineage that could include musicians like Robert Wyatt, Scott Walker, or Richard Youngs.

                    A few words about the title: Dispossession, a word that has a foothold in both the spiritual and material worlds. A rite of exorcism, a casting out of spirits; but also a state of extreme economic marginalization, of being set adrift in the world with nowhere or nothing of one’s own. In mythic terms, humans are the dispossessed—this tribe cast out of an edenic paradise. And in another cosmology, to live in accord with the truth is to acknowledge that ultimately nothing is ours. Back in the here and now it’s a state much of the world is in, and one the rest of it may be headed for, barring we find a way to cast the “demons” out.

                    Pink Playground

                    Destination Ecstasy

                    From Houston, TX comes Pink Playground, a new band that makes videos instead of playing live, and runs in the tradition of shoegaze and ethereal sounds right back to the earliest Jesus and Mary Chain demos. Guitars, synths, otherworldly vocals and drum machines collude to the proto-noise pop moment of the mid ’80s, and charges forth as if the band’s members were born to play in that vein. Ear-splitting volume and spun sugar melodies fill the space with pink pollen blizzard dynamics so thick and hazy you might need a dust mask to power through them, songs so sweet that they sting, manners inverted into a new form of aggression.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    LP Info: Hand numbered vinyl with download code.

                    Greg Ashley

                    One Thin Heroine / Misery Again

                    Greg Ashley (The Gris Gris, The Mirrors, Strate Coats, solo fame, record maker extraordinaire) continues along his path as a troubador, with two new countrified crooners which’ll find you alone, sittin’ at the bar in broad daylight, lookin’ down low. Skirting the line between legitimate Nashville tears in your beers and marvelous, near-classical new Americana folk, these two sorry sons-a-guns are slowly revealing the full count of Ashley’s skills as a singer, songwriter and arranger.

                    Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch

                    Andrew Graham's Good Word

                    Graham's first release since the dissolution of RTFO Bandwagon, the elegantly primitive Columbus, OH folk band that most recently released "Dums Will Survive" (March 2009) on Texas' Dull Knife Records. While RTFO Bandwagon heavily reiterated the elements already present in Graham's guitar frameworks with the bass, drums, and even the vocal melodies, Swarming Branch takes a more delicate approach. Throughout "Good Word", each instrument plays only one note at a time, freeing up space in the mix and ensuring that every note is intentional.

                    To realize this detailed new sound, Graham brought in drummer Ryan Jewell (Terribly Empty Pockets, Pink Reason, Psychedelic Horseshit) and piano wizard Dane Terry. A number of other musicians come and go over the course of the record, including bassist Chris Burney (the Sun) and experimental composer Larry Marotta on slide guitar.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Ltd LP Info: US import - hand numbered edition of 500 copies.

                    Although "III" might be the third album from San Francisco trio The Alps it marks their first studio-based record and a fresh direction for the psychedelic supergroup. Made up of Tarentel mainman Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, ex-Tussle member Alexis Georgopoulos (better known as ARP) and ex-Troll member Scott Hewicker there is a deft amount of skill on display as the three rip through eight tracks of sizzling spiritual bliss. Comparisons here are easy to bring up - Popol Vuh, Ennio Morricone and Serge Gainsbourg spring to mind for starters as the band toss and tangle through thick drum breaks and reverberating sun-drenched guitar lines. "III" feels like a lost soundtrack to some crumbling Italian surrealist classic with its pounding basslines and swirling synthesizers. This is visual music, inspired by the likes of Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jordorowsky and Michaelangelo Antonioni, but what results is far more than a pastiche. Rather the trio have concocted a record which while being aware of its sprawling influences is far more than the sum of its parts. The finest excesses of progressive rock and the leanest intricacies of the psychedelic folk scene have been splashed together with a distinct dusty funk overlook to produce something which is totally out of time. Free from some half baked scene or other this is the result of three musicians doing exactly what they want. "III" has taken a plethora of sounds and crumbled them into something altogether beguiling. From the distant supernaturalism of "Trem Fantasma" to the Terry Riley influenced bliss of "Pink Light", The Alps show us that there's more to pyschedelia than meets the eye.


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